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25 June 1992
Selected Letters: Vol. III, 1910-1917 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Philip Kolb, translated by Terence Kilmartin.
HarperCollins, 434 pp., £35, January 1992, 0 00 215541 9
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Correspondance de Marcel ProustTome XVIII, 191 
edited by Philip Kolb.
Plon, 657 pp., frs 290, September 1990, 2 259 02187 5
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Correspondance de Marcel ProustTome XIX, 1920 
edited by Philip Kolb.
Plon, 857 pp., frs 350, May 1991, 2 259 02389 4
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Correspondance de Marcel ProustTome XX, 1921 
edited by Philip Kolb.
Plon, 713 pp., frs 350, April 1992, 2 259 02433 5
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... Proust wrote too many letters: he thought so and so anyone might think, as Philip Kolb’s expanding series of annual volumes edges towards the writer’s death, in 1922. Sheer numbers would not have ...
19 March 1981
Remembrance of Things Past 
by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott-Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin.
Chatto, 1040 pp., £17.50, March 1981, 0 7011 2477 6
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... In the spring of 1920 MarcelProust was fretting because the good ‘Gaston’ (Gallimard, his post-war publisher) had been unforgivably slow in arranging for translations of his now successful novel to be started. In the past 12 ...
12 October 1989
Albertine gone 
by Marcel Proust, translated by Terence Kilmartin.
Chatto, 99 pp., £11.95, August 1989, 0 7011 3359 7
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Marcel ProustA Biography 
by George Painter.
Chatto, 446 pp., £20, August 1989, 0 7011 3421 6
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The Book of Proust 
by Philippe Michel-Thiriet, translated by Jan Dalley.
Chatto, 406 pp., £25, August 1989, 0 7011 3360 0
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Marcel Proust. Selected Letters: Vol II, 1904-1909 
essays by Philip Kolb, translated by Terence Kilmartin.
Collins, 482 pp., £25, September 1989, 0 00 217078 7
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... One of Proust’s friends is supposed to have said of him that beauty did not really interest him: it had too little to do with desire. A remark which is not entirely lacking insight. It might be said that the ...

The Thing

Michael Wood: Versions of Proust

6 January 2005
In Search of Lost Time: Vol. I: The Way by Swann’s 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Lydia Davis.
Penguin, 496 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118031 5
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol.II: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by James Grieve.
Penguin, 576 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118032 3
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. III: The Guermantes Way 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Mark Treharne.
Penguin, 640 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118033 1
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. IV: Sodom and Gomorrah 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by John Sturrock.
Penguin, 576 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 9780141180342
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. V: ‘The Prisoner’ and ‘The Fugitive’ 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Carol Clark and Peter Collier.
Penguin, 720 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118035 8
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In Search of Lost Time: Vol. VI: Finding Time Again 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Christopher Prendergast, translated by Ian Patterson.
Penguin, 400 pp., £8.99, October 2003, 0 14 118036 6
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The Proust​ Project 
edited by André Aciman.
Farrar, Straus, 224 pp., $25, November 2004, 0 374 23832 4
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... What was it Proust said about paradise? That all paradises are lost paradises? That the only true paradise is a lost paradise? That it isn’t paradise until it’s lost? That paradise is a name for a favourite form of ...

English Proust

Christopher Prendergast

8 July 1993
In Search of Lost Time 
by Marcel Proust, translated by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terence Kilmartin, revised by D.J. Enright.
Chatto, £15, November 1992, 0 7011 3992 7
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... Much or the last volume of Proust’s novel is devoted to life in Paris during the First World War. Proust, the least chauvinistic of writers, is nevertheless so moved by patriotic sentiment as to transgress the convention which keeps a fictional world separate from its author: In this book in which ...

An Absolutely Different Life

Michael Wood: Too Proustian

7 November 2019
Sept conférences sur Marcel​ Proust 
by Bernard de Fallois.
Editions de Fallois, 312 pp., €20, January, 978 1 03 210214 6
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Proust​ avant Proust Essai sur ‘Les Plaisirs et les jours’ 
by Bernard de Fallois.
Les Belles Lettres, 192 pp., €21.50, May, 978 2 251 44939 5
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‘Le Mystérieux Correspondant’ et autres nouvelles inédites 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Luc Fraisse.
Editions de Fallois, 174 pp., €18.50, October, 978 1 03 210229 0
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... a legendary French editor and publisher, died in January 2018. He worked for a long time at Hachette, and set up his own company in 1987. At one point, he was considering doing postgraduate work on Proust; he said in one of the lectures now published as Sept conférences sur MarcelProust that he had been ‘tempted to conduct … a university exercise that one calls a thesis’, and the wording alone ...

There are some limits Marlowes just won’t cross

Christopher Tayler: Banville’s Marlowe

2 April 2014
The Black-Eyed Blonde 
by Benjamin Black.
Mantle, 320 pp., £16.99, February 2014, 978 1 4472 3668 9
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... I was beginning to think perhaps you worked in bed, like MarcelProust,’ a waiting femme fatale says when Philip Marlowe hits his office in The Big Sleep (1939). Marlowe’s response: ‘Who’s he?’ ‘A French writer,’ she says, ‘a connoisseur in degenerates ...
22 March 2012
... All we know is that we don’t want to lose or reduce the extravagance but can’t quite fall for it either. An example would be Walter Benjamin’s wonderful remark about missed experiences in Proust: None of us has time to live the true dramas of the life that we are destined for. This is what ages us – this and nothing else. The wrinkles and creases on our faces are the registration of the ...

Beat the carpets later!

Michael Wood: Proust’s Noisy Neighbours

7 May 2014
Lettres à sa voisine 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Estelle Gaudry and Jean-Yves Tadié.
Gallimard, 86 pp., £11.40, October 2013, 978 2 07 014224 8
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... It’s really​ a miniature novel,’ we read in the introduction to this collection of MarcelProust’s newly discovered letters, ‘C’est un vrai petit roman.’ It’s such a perfect novel that it looks like a hoax. Twenty-six letters from Proust to his upstairs neighbours at 102 boulevard ...

‘Tiens! Une madeleine?’

Michael Wood: The Comic-Strip Proust

26 November 1998
À la recherche du temps perdu: Combray 
by Marcel Proust, edited by Stéphane Heuet.
Delcourt, 72 pp., €10.95, October 1998, 2 84055 218 3
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Proust​ among the Stars 
by Malcolm Bowie.
HarperCollins, 348 pp., £19.99, August 1998, 0 00 255622 7
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... t reread it ‘the other day’. That day he just remembered reading it, or perhaps skimmed a few pages. He joined the club of dreamers. On the basis of no statistical evidence at all, I suspect that Proust is at the head of the list, at least in Europe and the Americas, of authors people dream of reading, easily outclassing those former champions Tolstoy and Joyce. I also suspect that chiefly novelists ...

My Shirt-Front Starched

Adam Phillips: Proust’s Megalomania

27 July 2016
ProustThe Search 
by Benjamin Taylor.
Yale, 199 pp., £16.99, November 2015, 978 0 300 16416 9
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... Translating​ Proust’s novel back into his life, and then the life back into the novel, has been an abiding temptation both for those who know it well and for those who don’t. In part this is an effect of the novel ...

Diary

Robert Walshe: Bumping into Beckett

7 November 1985
... and over those stones, my stones, walk the likes of Apollinaire and Tagore and Valéry and Perse and Hemingway and Pound and Rilke and Gide and Joyce and the entire gratin of 20th-century literature. MarcelProust was said to have come, once, in the middle of the night, and one can only speculate about the outcome. Two hundred pages, at a rough guess. I first learned about all this lying flat on my back ...
4 June 2014
... 1. Albertine, the name, is not a common name for a girl in France, although Albert is widespread for a boy. 2. Albertine’s name occurs 2363 times in Proust’s novel, more than any other character. 3. Albertine herself is present or mentioned on 807 pages of Proust’s novel. 4. On a good 19 per cent of these pages she is asleep. 5. Albertine is ...

Spivsville

Jonathan Bate

27 July 1989
Train, Train 
by Graham Coster.
Bloomsbury, 225 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 9780747503941
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The Philosophers 
by Alex Comfort.
Duckworth, 176 pp., £12.95, June 1989, 9780715625118
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The King of the Fields 
by Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Cape, 256 pp., £10.95, July 1989, 0 224 02663 1
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Sister Hollywood 
by C.K. Stead.
Collins, 224 pp., £11.95, June 1989, 0 00 223479 3
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Penelope’s Hat 
by Ronald Frame.
Hodder, 440 pp., £12.95, July 1989, 0 340 49397 6
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... compensation for such excrescences. The narrator’s childhood summers in pre-war Cornwall are summoned up with particular delicacy. One of Frame’s previous works was called A Long Weekend with MarcelProust: a short weekend with Penelope’s Hat suggests to me that such time as this author has spent with Proust has not been time lost. The sense of smell is unusually prevalent for an author ...

Someone like Maman

Elisabeth Ladenson: Proust’s mother

8 May 2008
Madame ProustA Biography 
by Evelyne Bloch-Dano, translated by Alice Kaplan.
Chicago, 310 pp., £16, October 2007, 978 0 226 05642 5
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... The heroic image of Proust in his cork-lined room, valiantly racing against death to finish his masterpiece, is now so ingrained that it eclipses that of the spoiled 30-year-old who left messages for his mother complaining ...

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